A study aimed to use participatory design to create and then test the usability and comprehension of an HIV self-testing infographic. The results appeared in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

This two-phase, sequential, mixed methods, pilot, online, randomized controlled trial comprised 322 adult, sexual minority men of color. An intervention group was shown the infographic, and outcomes were compared with a control group who did not view the infographic. The study addressed three challenges to HIV self-testing: correct usage of the test stick, understanding the number of minutes to wait before reading the result, and how to correctly interpret a negative or a positive HIV result.

The results indicated an appreciable average difference between the control and intervention groups on HIV self-testing knowledge, with the control group outperforming the intervention group. However, as the investigators noted, two-thirds or better of the participants in the intervention group were able to comprehend the three critical steps to HIV self-testing.

“This was a promising finding that has resulted in the authors’ development of additional recommendations for using participatory design for visual aid development in HIV prevention research,” the researchers concluded. “Participatory design of an HIV self-testing infographic is a rigorous approach, as a health communication strategy, to address public health priorities.”

Link:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34831644/

Keywords: HIV, consumer health informatics, health communication, health literacy, participatory design, sexual and gender minorities